Plugins for Photoshop, Elements, Lightroom, PSP & others



by Kay Michael Kuhnlein


Review Date: July 31, 2012  



Make your color dreams come true and realizes any photographic look

Just like you I am only a user who is curious about a new Plugin to test the qualities of the software. A little difference is the fact that I write about my experiences as an author. The most of you can spare themselves this procedure.

The installation of ColorStyler 1.01 under Windows 7 works without any problems. There is probably one positive feature worth being mentioned: in a selection list you can choose all compatible host programs on your system without any limitations. Great, whoever has several image processing programs on his computer and also uses them regularly, will certainly appreciate this option.

Left: Original Photo - Photographer: Michael Bernigau   Middle: Three presets from the Photo Effects and Glow groups were combined: Bleach Bypass, Glamour Portrait and White Glow Strong. The Glow effect was manually adjusted.   Left: Three combined presets from the Photo Effects group are essential for this look: Cross Royal Gold, Dawn Light and High Contrast.

The Program Interface

When starting the plugin for the first time, then you will be asked whether you prefer the user interface in modern style of Photoshop CS 6, which means dark, or the standard Windows style. Your decision is not "for eternity", you can change it later at any time. You can turn to the Prefs tab sheet in order to change the Skin if necessary.

Here I switched to Advanced Mode - alternatively you can stay in Easy Mode. I also enlarged the preset list by clicking the arrow left icon above the preset list.

The UI of ColorStyler 1.01 (with Photoshop Dark skin) after personal adjustments

The already existing settings, except for the Advanced Mode, can be kept or not according to your personal taste. The Advanced Mode is important as it grants access to the Main, Select, FX1, FX2 and Mask tabs. With these tab sheets your photos can be adjusted individually.

There is also the small check box called Combine: you can activate or deactivate it by clicking with your mouse. My tip: if you are a beginner as far as ColorStyler 1.01 is concerned, then activate the check box, click on different presets and let yourself be surprised by the results. You can also combine presets by holding the Ctrl key while choosing a preset.

Last, but not least, there is the Help tab sheet. Those who do not want to be helped, deactivate its check box, all others receive helpful information on each control that is touched by the mouse cursor.


"Playfully" Discovering ColorStyler 1.01

With software of a very wide functional range such as ColorStyler 1.01, you have more than 600 presets to choose from as well as different modes for changing the color of your photo. It is most likely that no one got the idea of testing all existing presets one after another. Your "lunch break" and the following afternoon would probably not suffice.

A few of the 600 preset thumbnails

On the other hand the preset thing is certainly not the wrong way to get more familiar with the plugin. For my first result above I firstly clicked on the preset Cross Royal Gold without a fixed objective, afterwards on Dawn Light while the Combine function was activated. I liked the result that is why no other changes followed.

It is actually indeed a success-promising way to start with a preset and then carry out the fine-tuning with other parameters. But please take into consideration that almost every photo exhibits different exposures and colors. Nevertheless it is recommendable to save your own really felicitous presets and test them with other images.

Original image - Photographer: Kay Michael Kuhnlein

For the following two examples I chose a photo as the original image whose colors and light conditions cannot be called optimal, actually a case for the recycle bin. So I combined several presets and did some fine-tuning in Advanced Mode. According to my own judgement the photo got an "eye-catcher" after all or do you think otherwise?

Lago d`Orta with a special color mood.

Another variation with an infra red look that also has polarizer, grad, glow and paper effects applied.

As I wanted to show you another variation with the same image, I saved the previous effect as a preset. In this specific case it would actually not have been really necessary, because ColorStyler 1.01 always displays the last assigned adjustments.


Adjustments on the Main tab sheet for producing photo variations.
The red output curve is influenced by the editable curve and the slider values.

As already described above, there are several tab sheets available in Advanced Mode. The screenshots show possible adjustments in the Main tab sheet. The sub tabs Tone, Color, RGB and Saturation let you adjusting the image with curves and sliders according to your desires and ideas. It does not matter whether you started with one ore more combined presets or with an unprocessed original image.

I am now pursuing with two examples which demonstrate various possibilities of the ColorStyler. Afterwards I do recommend you to grab ColorStyler 1.01 as a fully working demo version from and convince yourself of this software´s performance. You will probably be as enthusiastic as I am myself.


Left: Original image - Photographer: Michael Bernigau
Middle: Vignette and circular grad effects.
Right: Linear grad and paper effects.



Top Left: Popart in its original colors - Artist: Kay Michael Kuhnlein
Top Right & Bottom: Digital art can also receive completely new colors
with the help of th false color effect

Actually I concentrate on the individual software when writing a review, because I regard myself as an author and by no means as a test person who compares products. So it is quite odd: Why can't I keep myself from thinking that ColorStyler is offered at a very reasonable price whereas a much higher rate is charged for a certain other product, which does not really offer more features? Well, as I already mentioned, your own thoughts can be quite curious at times.

I wish you a successful work,

Kay Michael Kuhnlein


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